The Legacy Fund is going to be in play

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has proposed use of some funds generated by the state’s Legacy Fund be utilized to advance what he believes are “legacy” projects – things important to the state that he feels would be impactful for years to come. Burgum makes a very strong argument for the “legacy” aspects of his proposal.

Meanwhile, others are proposing to use the fund to phase in the elimination of the state income tax. Obviously, there is likely to be plenty of populist support for the idea of eliminating the state tax regardless of other options, of the long-term impact. Still, while obviously populist, there is some merit to the argument.

Still others, of course, believe in keeping the fund and the revenue it generates in a lock box to apply as intended.

The problem is the purpose of the fund, defined at its creation, is open to broad interpretation. All of the above have validity.

One thing is certain, though. The Legacy Fund is in play – whether in this session or the next.

With an economy still stifled – despite absurdly, terrific low unemployment rates – many people will be eyeing the Legacy Fund or revenue generated from it to use to benefit state coffers or to benefit taxpayers.

Should it be utilized for one of these objectives? More than one? Or should it continue to be set aside and to keep growing until a situation arises following which there is broad support for one use or another?

It’s a debate worth having.

We can bank on just that discussion taking place this year and for years to come.

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